ST. LOUIS – Gary Woodland didn’t factor into the finish Sunday at the PGA Championship.
But he seemed like enjoyed his walk around Bellerive, nonetheless.
Paired with Tiger Woods, Woodland got off to a difficult start, playing first 10 holes in 2 over. But as Woods made the turn and threatened to potentially claim his 15th major victory, Woodland finally heated up, birdieing Nos. 11, 12, and 14 to shoot 1-under 69.
His tie for sixth at 10 under par is his best-ever finish in a major.
“Yeah, it was awesome,” Woodland said of his walk with Woods. “In that atmosphere, there’s nothing like it. The energy in that place was unbelievable.
“That was the biggest crowd I’ve seen.”
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And when the galleries weren’t cheering Tiger, they were mostly jeering Woodland, the Kansas Jawhawk who heard M-I-Z followed Z-O-U on every hole.
But after Woodland dented the cup at 12 with his approach – requiring a lengthy stoppage – a different chant broke out at Bellerive: Let’s-go-Ti-ger clap clap clap-clap-clap.
“The fans have been big all week. A lot of KU and Mizzou fans going back and forth,” Woodland said. “Tiger kind of cancelled that out. I was riding off the energy in that group. It was awesome.
“To contend in a major on Sunday and make putts, the energy was unbelievable – that’s what you want. You want to be able to play with him on Sunday and beat him. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that today, but I was glad I was in that spot.”